Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Arkham Horror The Card Game Blood on the Altar mythos pack unboxing and review

The Arkham Horror card game is excellent, and its really exciting to see another expansion products, to get a feel for where FFG are going with the game, and progress your players OWN story.  The first expansion we got to see after the main game was the deluxe Dunwich Legacy pack, and that was a cracker! then we took a trip into the Miskatonic Museum,
Not to mention some diversions to Venice for  Carnevale of Horrors, then we even had got to trek through the Bayous in Curse if the Rougarou. Then of course a nice gentle ride on the Essex County Express.  Now we finally reach Dunwich, and im sure things cant get much worse after our journey here.. or can they?


“It is not reassuring to see, on a closer glance, that most of the houses are deserted and falling to ruin…”
     –H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror



After a horrifying train ride, you receive a painfully cold welcome to the town of Dunwich. A string of disappearances has left the townsfolk on edge. Most of them regard you with obvious distrust, and almost no one is willing to help in your investigation…
In Blood on the Altar, as you and your fellow investigators explore the connections between Dunwich and recent events, you'll find the town's missing people chief among your concerns. You may even find it somewhat unnerving that they've gone missing just before you arrived—and that they might have been taken at the same time you were confronting terrifying, otherworldly creatures on a train, in a museum, or in the private underground corridors of an Arkham speakeasy.
So why do you hear so little about these missing people? You'd think in a town as small as Dunwich that the disappearances would have left a larger footprint. Shouldn't someone have seen something? Shouldn't the local officials have named one or more suspects?
The more you investigate, the more you suspect you're making a target of yourself. You're almost certain the missing people are hidden somewhere in the village, and you have to believe that if you're not careful, you're likely to join them.

 Where the Missing Have Gone....



As always, ther will be no encounter spoilers, so just looking at new player cards...

The quiet, creepy village of Dunwich comes alive in Blood on the Altar as a series of locations encircling the Village Commons.  You'll be instructed to select these locations at random during setup, and then you'll distribute five facedown cards between them, placing one beneath each of the locations other than Village Commons.
This means that you'll find new secrets and mysteries lurking behind every Dunwich door. Naturally, you'll still reveal a location the first time you travel to it, and you'll still encounter whatever mysteries the location itself may yield. But in Blood on the Altar, each time you finish investigating a location, you'll find yourself stumbling into an extra encounter card.
This is both good and bad. It's bad in the sense that you're likely to face more terrors, find yourself forced to survive additional treacheries, and maybe even stumble into a nest of brutal pitchfork-wielding cultists. But it's good in the sense that two of the facedown cards are The Hidden Chamber and the Key to the Chamber (Blood on the Altar, 215), which you need in order to gain access and, presumably, find the missing villagers.
Still, this is Arkham Horror: The Card Game, and whether or not you find the villagers, it's a safe bet the chains and manacles you'll find in The Hidden Chamber aren't just for show. So what will you find when you pass the chamber door? How might your discovery inform your larger investigation?
You'll have to act quickly… The sound of footsteps knocks across the wooden floor above you. And you can see flickering shadows cast from burning torches…

Always Be Prepared

With so much to accomplish in Dunwich and so little time, you'll need to make every moment count. Preparation is key.
Fortunately, even though you won't really know what sort of horrifying things you might encounter—until they're staring you in the face—you'll find that the player cards from Blood on the Altar give you plenty of new ways to ready yourself for whatever terrors may come.
For starters, in our announcement of Blood on the Altar, we already revealed how you might use the experience you've gained over your earlier adventures to develop a Permanent new Talent, like Keen Eye (Blood on the Altar, 185) or  Blood Pact (Blood on the Altar, 191), that can give you an immediate leg up as you begin your investigations.
But there are times that no measure of talent will prove sufficient. Sometimes you just need the right gear. You don't want to confront an Ancient One with nothing but your fists and wits. Really, you don't want to face an Ancient One at all… but if you absolutely must, you should be Prepared for the Worst (Blood on the Altar, 184).
Not only is it a solid Tactic to make sure you've got the right Weapon for the job. But any confrontation with an Ancient One—or even just a towering aberration or some servitor of the Ancient One—is probably as close to "the worst" as you're going to get. You might as well have a gun or a Machete (Core Set, 20). You'll probably still be devoured, but you might be able to make the thing bleed a little before you fall.
There's even a chance—ever so slight—that if you and your companions are all well armed and able to catch your foe off-guard, you might survive your encounter. And then? One resource is a small price to pay to have your Weapon when you need it most.

 The guardians get the prepared for the worst card.  A 1 cost event that lets you look at the top 9 cars of your deck, (so nearly a third of your deck) to find a weapon and add it to your hand.  This is pretty useful if you need something with hitting power out right away.

Then we have a new permanent attachment to boost our characters with Keen eye.   It gives us two extra fast action options, we can spend two resources to get an extra lore, or an extra fight, or even both if you are feeling flush.  This is a good card to balance some of the more combat heavy investigators like Roland.  It also wins my coverted art of the pack award for that classic noir style.
 The Rogues get a similar new permanent talent with Streetwise.  It is level 3 though so will cost to upgrade, but is free and let you spend 2 resources for +3 lore, and +3 agility.  So certainly a bigger boost.

Lone wolf is a 1 cost talent that is limited to 1 per investigator, and lets you react at the start of your turn if their are no other investigators in your location you can gain an extra resource.
 The Mystics get Defiance, which is an innate skill, and lets you choose a symbol to ignore the effects of before drawing from the chaos bag.

They also get a new permanent talent which lets you add 3 fight or 3 intelligence for the spending of resources.
 The seekers get Preposterous Sketches, a 2 cost asset that can only be played if their is a clue on your location, but lets you draw 3 cards.

Higher education is a permanent talent that can only be used if you have 5 or more cards in your hand, but lets you spend a resource for either 2 more intelligence, or 2 lore.
 The Seekers get rise to the occasion which is an innate skill that can be commited to the test you are performing, but only if it is at least 2 higher then your base value, so with 3 wildccards it will bring you up nicely.  Lastly Scrapper, which is a permanent talent letting you spend 1 resource for 1 more fight and/or agility.
 Lastly in the pack for player cards we see a level 2  Emergency cache, which is a favourite of mine from the core set, it costs 0, and lets you gain 3 resources, and draw a card so is well worth upgrading to in your game.

Night Falls, and the Whippoorwills Are Calling

Quiet and disconcerting in the daylight, the town of Dunwich assumes an even more sinister tenor at night. There are… things… no one should ever have to see. But it's your job to find them. To fight them. To learn the truth behind them.

Oncew more, another great installemtn in the game, continuing the plot line of your adventures, and making references back to previous choices as well.  Full of tough desicions, and a fantastic storyline, this is a real must have for your Arkhma collection.  In all honesty, Arkham Horoor the card game is shaping up to be THE best card game around, and this is just adding to it......


It comes in with an RRP of £14.99 so head on over to your local game store and grab yourself a pack and continue the adventure.

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